- What's on
- Special Programs
- Become a Member
- Blog & News
- Ithraeyat Magazine
Dear Ithra visitors, please note that Ithra closely follows government COVID-19 precautionary policies. For details, please check ‘The Center’s Policies’ on the main page.
The purpose of the Archive Gallery is to provide a historical overview of Saudi Aramco and its context within the wider Kingdom. It contains hundreds of photographic images, thematic overviews in text, and objects, video footage and maps to tell the story of how Saudi Aramco grew to become the world’s largest energy company. The gallery is 560 sq. meters, u-shaped, and situated close to the bottom of the ramp around Giuseppe Penone’s The Source, after Gallery 4.
The gallery is divided into several sections:
The Introduction Wall contains a series of historical maps of the Arabian Peninsula from antiquity to early modern times. The maps explore the background of the region leading to the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.
This section investigates how Saudi Aramco’s operations have become truly global, showcasing the locations of regional offices, research and development centers, and joint-equity ventures. The map acts as an inspiring evocation of Saudi Aramco’s global reach in the contemporary world.
Across the entirety of the first wall, over sections 1 and 2, is the stylized Arabic calligraphy of a section of the Holy Qur’an, along with the English translation.
There are six vitrines placed in front of the introduction wall and wall map, each containing an object of significance to Saudi Aramco’s history. For example, one showcase contains a group of Aramco surveying instruments, which were vital to the exploration and discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.
The heart of the Archive Gallery is occupied by the Timeline Wall. The wall includes a chronological photographic mosaic of Saudi Aramco history from 1933 to the present. There are over 200 images, with approximately 25 per decade of the company’s history. Below the mosaic, at audience height, is a series of 36 interactive screens where visitors can explore the images and their contextual information.
Following the Timeline Wall, there is a lounge area with five sofas and several iPads loaded with the Archive Gallery application. The application contains a more in-depth history of Saudi Aramco for those interested in spending time learning in greater detail. The majority of the iPads are for reading text and viewing photographic content; however, two gold iPads are loaded with a separate application that allows visitors to add their comments and crowdsourced metadata for the collections.
The application contains ten main thematic sections:
4. Aramco Culture
5. Human Capital
6. Research and Innovation
7. Global Reach
9. The Center
10. Royal Visits
Above the lounge area is the future wall calligraphy designed to leave visitors with a stylized and inspiring impression from their trip to the Archive Gallery.
The Archive Gallery will hold educational workshops for school visits. It will also employ its own floor staff to provide daily tours in English and Arabic to interested visitors.